Almost daily throughout 2014, Kari Roberson pushed herself hard at the gym so she could hang 1500m in the air for eight hours or more to break a world record for cross-country paragliding.
Already ranked number one in Australia following a nine-hour, 297-kilometre journey last year, Ms Roberson, 33, increased her fitness in a bid to beat the world record of 336km.
She landed 6km short of her goal west of Cowra after a windy, stressful flight at the weekend. It was a personal best effort, at one brief moment Ms Roberson, a Canberra public servant, thought she had the record in her sights.
"That day was kind of a difficult day. I was tired. Normally I can fly eight-plus hours and be still pretty fresh at the end of the day," she said.
"I thought I was going to land often, so by the time I got to the end of the flight I was absolutely exhausted and probably not as elated as I would have been on a different sort of day."
Taking text messages on wind speeds from her father Barry Roberson on the ground, her flying time was cut when she left the dry, barren country around Deniliquin and travelled into green, lush landscape.
"Even though I had a lot of wind, the lift wasn't nearly as strong and it wasn't as regular and it got a little harder towards the end," Ms Roberson said. "I should have had another hour of flying at the end of the day, but because of the ground I was flying over, the day did switch off earlier than I was expecting."
Greenery cuts the amount of heat collecting on the ground, which determines the strength of thermals that carry paragliders.
High above the ground for many hours is no place for the faint-hearted, or those with a weak bladder. Record-breaking pilots wear a nappy so they can relieve the call of nature and while she wears one Ms Roberson has never used it.
"When I am flying, I manage my hydration. I drink a lot in the evening - I drink litres of water - and when I get up in the mornings I stop drinking. You can literally train your body to do just about anything, I think."
Support on the ground has been increased, with a purpose-built winch and the help of Ben Vickery, a Deniliquin pub owner and former defence member who has installed better phone reception in his vehicle, from which he operates the winch.
"I have had flights of 250km where Ben has towed me up at the start of the day, jumped in the car and chased me for the next eight hours and as I am landing he is pulling up in the car alongside me," Ms Roberson said.
Taking a break from the heat at Deniliquin, Ms Roberson and several overseas pilots travelled to Bright in Victoria's north-east, from where they launched for a flight to Myrtleford, then turned into Kiewa Valley, and flew over the village of Gundowring, before returning to Bright via Mount Beauty.
It is a picturesque way to spend a summer chasing records in the clouds.